TEWKSBURY, Mass. (AP) ¿ Starent Networks Corp. has cleared a key hurdle toward its pending acquisition by the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment.

Starent said Friday its shareholders have endorsed the $2.9 billion sale to Cisco Systems Inc. Cisco is paying $35 a share in cash.

Starent spokeswoman Jennifer Buchhalter says the sale requires regulatory approval.

Starent, which is based in Tewksbury, Mass., makes equipment that allows cell phone carriers to tie their wireless networks to the Internet. It will become Cisco's new Mobile Internet Technology Group, headed by Starent CEO Ashraf Dahod. Cisco is based in San Jose, Calif.

Starent has an estimated market share of about 85 percent in its niche, which includes selling technology to carriers such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp.
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